x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Pro League: Al Jazira responding to Luis Milla as Al Shaab sink into danger zone

Jazira's victory over Al Shaab, combined with Dibba's shock win over Al Ahli, has Shaab coach Marius Sumudica fuming, writes Amith Passela.

Ricardo Oliveira (No 99 in white ) got Al Jazira on the board early against Al Shaab.
Ricardo Oliveira (No 99 in white ) got Al Jazira on the board early against Al Shaab.


Al Jazira R Oliveira 52', Fernandinho 86'


ABU DHABI // Marius Sumudica, the Al Shaab coach, was left fuming after his team's relegation fears resurfaced following their defeat to Al Jazira and Dibba Al Fujairah's shock win over Al Ahli.

Shaab were seven points clear going in to the game but their lead was cut short to four after Thursday night's results.

"Everybody thought we already escaped relegation but this as a big mistake," Sumudica said. "In my opinion, Dibba will win the next two games. So we need to win one of the two remaining games to stay in the Pro League because we don't expect others to do the job for us." Shaab's final two games are against Al Wasl and Al Shabab while Dibba face the relegated Kalba and Ajman.

"We had four big chances to score and if you can't score against a team like Jazira we can't win. It wasn't easy for Jazira but they took full points from us. So congratulations to them."

Sumudica said every game was a pressure game for Shaab, who have been fighting for every point since he took charge four months ago.

"They are a better team now. In my opinion we were the best team last month because we won 10 points from a possible 12. We lost to a good team tonight but I am satisfied with the performance.

"When we won against Al Ain last month everyone was talking Cosmin [Olaroiu] threw the game away because we are both from Romania. Can I ask all those who accused us the same question how Ahli lost to Dibba?"

"Nobody speaks or understands that we won against Ajman and Kalba and drew with Al Dhafra before our win over Al Ain."

Luis Milla, the Jazira coach, took a lot of positives from the result ahead of their Etisalat Cup final against Ajman on Tuesday.

"This result is good for the morale and confidence of the team and hopefully we can take this momentum forward," he said.

Milla will be eying for a top three finish for Jazira to earn a qualifying spot in next year's Asian Champions League.

Al Ain will be joined by the winner of the President's Cup between Ahli and Shabab while the league second and third team will play go through the qualifying round in the continental championship, unless the rules are changed.

Ricardo Oliveira opened the scoring for Jazira and assisted his Brazilian compatriot Fernandinho to seal the game last night at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Oliveira picked up a through pass from Matias Delgado and drilled it past Mutaz Abdullah, who had no chance from the one-on-one.

Jazira doubled the lead from a counter-attack. Oliveira picked up a long ball, ran inside the box and tapped it towards his Brazil compatriot Fernandinho to complete the move four minutes from time.

Ali Kasheif, the Jazira goalkeeper, did well to punch away Michael Ndri's heavy shot from space created by Filipe Teixeira.

Oliveira was wide with an effort at the other end and a close-range header from the Brazilian was expertly pushed out by Abdullah, the Shaab keeper.

Hassan Maatouk had an opportunity to put the visitor's ahead but a weak effort from him saw Kasheif reflectively smother the ball in added time of the first half.

Abdulla made another excellent save early in the second half to push out Oliveira's effort from eight yards. But there was no denying of his next effort.




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